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Mary J Derosa
Mary J Derosa

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How to Transfer a Website to a Different Host (Without Downtime or Issues)

Picking the best hosting provider for your website can be time-consuming as there are so many options available. Unfortunately, sometimes when you make your choice, the service doesn’t meet your expectations, making you feel stuck.

In this case, the next suitable step might be to switch to another hosting company. Yet, this option also has its risks, such as downtime issues and complicated processes.

This article will provide a step-by-step guide to help transfer your website to a different web host safely. You’ll learn all of the essential points, from choosing the best web host to canceling your current hosting service.

1. Choose a New Web Hosting Provider

It’s important to pick a new web hosting provider before canceling your existing hosting plan. Several aspects to consider when choosing a new provider are cost, resources, and performance.

If you don’t want to transfer your website manually, choose a hosting provider that offers free site migration. That way, you only need to make the request and provide website details, like the current hostname and control panel login details.

2. Backup and Transfer Your Files

Backups ensure that you save the latest version of your site. To transfer it to the new web host, log in to the control panel, make another backup and begin the transfer.

One way to move your site is to use a file transfer protocol (FTP) program like FileZilla. It provides access to the files on the current web host’s servers from your computer. Download the files from your old web host, then upload all the files to the new one.
filezilla program for file transfer
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If you use WordPress, consider installing a migration tool plugin, like All-in-One WP Migration. This plugin will help migrate your WordPress site to a new hosting provider without any technical knowledge.

3. Move Your Database and Import to the New Host

Most content management systems (CMS) depend on a database to store content and settings. To move your database, export it from your old web host using phpMyAdmin.

You should see phpMyAdmin in the Databases if your old hosting provider uses the cPanel. If not, install phpMyAdmin on your PC first.

Follow these steps to export your database once you open the phpMyAdmin:

  1. On the left section, select the database you want to move.
  2. Click the Export tab.
    phpmyadmin database export
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  3. In the Export method, click Quick and choose SQL for the format.
    exporting sql files
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  4. Click Go.

After that, create a new database by opening MySQL Databases in your new web host’s control panel. Then, open phpMyAdmin and go to the Import tab to upload the database you downloaded from your old web host.
creating new database
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4. Install and Configure Applications at the New Host

This step requires editing the wp-config.php by using the FTP program or file manager at the new host’s control panel. Before editing this file, prepare information like database name, username, and password.

Then, install or update your CMS platform, like WordPress or Joomla, and configure other applications you need.

5. Point Your Domain Name to the New Web Host

The first step is to look for the nameservers of your new web host on its control panel.

Then, go to the dashboard of your domain name provider and replace the old nameservers with the new host’s nameservers. Doing so will ensure that visitors come to your website and not receive an error or a misdirect.

The process until your domain name points to the new web host will take up to 24 hours. A DNS checker like helps check the moving progress.
dns checker
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6. Test Your Website

At this step, your site should work properly on your new hosting provider. However, errors can happen sometimes.

One typical error is broken links. To solve this, consider installing a plugin like Broken Link Checker. It will scan all links on your website and show the status – whether they’re errors or not. Here, you have the option to edit or delete the links.

Also, there is a risk that the database is corrupted. To resolve this, try to disable all plugins and enable them one by one. If you can’t access your WordPress dashboard, it may be necessary to reupload your database.

7. Check Your Email Accounts

There are four possible scenarios when transferring your custom email to the new web host, such as:
-Email is hosted on a third party. It can be Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace. It’s the simplest scenario as you can keep using it.

-Email is hosted on a domain registrar. Login to the domain registrar and change the details, like nameservers, into the new hosting provider.
-Email is hosted with the old host. See whether it’s possible to download the email accounts and upload them to the new hosting provider. If not, you have to recreate the accounts on the new web host’s platform manually.

8. Finalize the Move

When the changes are complete, it’s essential to double-check if they work correctly.

First, check your website using a temporary URL. Ask your new host’s support team about the address or use a temporary URL generator. Also, it’s better to inform your visitors about the switch beforehand in case something goes wrong and everything results in downtime.
checking the website with temporary url
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9. Close the Previous Web Hosting Account

After making sure everything works well, it’s time to close your old web hosting account.

You’ll see an option to cancel the hosting subscription on the old web host’s control panel. Ensure that you cancel only the hosting plan to avoid losing your domain name if you host your domain name with them too.


The risks of switching hosting services may seem intimidating at first.

However, it’s possible to transfer your website to another web host without any hassle or downtime, as long as you carefully take these steps:

  1. Pick a new web host.
  2. Back up your files and move them to the new web host.
  3. Export and import your database.
  4. Set up necessary applications on the new hosting provider’s platform.
  5. Point your domain to the new host.
  6. Test the website.
  7. Transfer your email accounts.
  8. Cancel your old hosting plan.

This is how you can move your website to a new host. Good luck!

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